INSTEAD OF antidepressants
TRY retraining your brain
To fight depression, consider battling the negativity head-on. That’s the thinking behind a DIY treatment known as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). With this technique, you focus on controlling your reactions to certain thoughts and emotions. You learn to see them objectively, rather than allowing them to sweep you away.
In a study in Canada by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, MBCT proved to be as effective as antidepressants in preventing relapse, and more effective at enhancing quality of life. “When people stop taking antidepressants – and they often do because of side-effects – they’re vulnerable to relapse,” says Dr Willem Kuyken, of the mood disorders centre at the University of Exeter in England. “MBCT gives people skills that help keep them well.”
CHEMIST-FREE One MBCT technique, the “three-minute breathing space”, is designed to help end the swirl of negative thoughts in your head. You start by focusing on how your body feels, as well as what you’re thinking and feeling right now. Then you shift your attention to your breathing to bring yourself further into the present moment. Finally, you expand your awareness back out to your entire body while deliberately breathing in and out. If that technique is effective for you, ask your doctor to recommend a therapist trained in MBCT.
Photo by stock.xchng Oct 25, 2011